U.S. President-elect Donald Trump © Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Donald Trump “finally concedes” Russia hacked the election, crowed the US media following his first news conference this week. That seeming turnaround by Trump signals ‘the Donald’ is being tamed to toe the “official” Washington line.
US Elections 2016
That line centers on the US pushing a belligerent policy toward Russia.
Notably, too, on the same day, Trump’s pick for the next Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, adopted a remarkably antagonistic view of Russia under pressure from hostile senators during his Congressional confirmation grilling.
Tillerson, who holds a Russian Order of Friendship award bestowed by President Vladimir Putin in 2013, responded to relentless goading from senators by saying that the US should maintain sanctions on “resurgent Russia,” adding that “the taking of Crimea” was against the law.
Russia has ‘no legal claim’ to #Crimea –t.co/eicLRkk2I1
— RT (@RT_com) January 11, 2017
Together, the shift by Trump and his incoming cabinet toward a more frosty stance on Russia signals that a coercive taming process is underway by the Washington establishment, with sinister implications for supposed US democracy.
It’s a truism that US presidential winners are, in reality, determined by elite corporate power, the ‘Deep State’ military-intelligence apparatus, and their controlled news media conglomerates. In Donald Trump’s case, the outcome appeared to be an exception to the rule. So, post-election, ‘the Donald’ is being ‘processed’ to produce the desired ‘result.’
President-elect Trump’s first and much-anticipated news conference this week was a boisterous media scrum with the billionaire property magnate shouting down CNN and other outlets as “fake news.” On the surface, it looked like Trump was being his unreconstructed feisty self, dictating the rules of the game and overturning established protocol.
Not only was he scathing of ‘fake news’ media organizations, but he also slammed US intelligence for “disgraceful” leaks about unsubstantiated claims concerning sordid links with Russia.
US President-elect Donald Trump © Jim Watson Trump says he has ‘no deals, no loans, no nothing’ with Russia amidst new scandal
But amid all the seeming bravado, Trump signaled a willingness to toe the establishment line. “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” he told reporters who asked for his view on US intelligence claims that Moscow had interfered in the presidential election.
Up to that moment, the incoming president had been dismissive of the claims against Russia. Earlier, Trump even poured scorn on US intelligence as being “ridiculous” for alleging that Russian leader Vladimir Putin had ordered an “influence campaign” to sway the November election.
This week, however, Trump was acknowledging his concurrence with claims of a Russian cyberattack and that Putin had masterminded the campaign. “Putin will stop it,” added Trump enigmatically.
Admittedly, Trump did not use an aggressive tone toward Russia and he equivocated about the gravity of the alleged Russian interference, noting that “others including China are hacking us.” He also seemed to be maintaining his previously stated objective of normalizing relations with Russia. “I consider being liked by Putin not to be a liability but an asset” for future bipartisan relations.
But the point is that the president-elect unmistakably shifted significantly from his earlier position of dismissing US intelligence claims against Russia to one of acquiescence. This is in spite of many sources insisting the US intelligence assessment is flawed, including categorical rejections by the Russian government that it had anything to do with alleged cyber attacks, as well as repudiations by whistleblower site WikiLeaks that it had nothing to do with Russia, and in spite of several former US intelligence employees publicly denouncing the claims against Russia as spurious.
‘This [US intelligence] report does not correspond to reality and is nothing but an absolute fiction’ – Kremlin t.co/CVCJwtGQIP, pic.twitter.com/s8OCr7MhTg
— RT (@RT_com) January 11, 2017
Trump’s election rival Hillary Clinton was the ‘selection’ candidate for the US political establishment of corporate power and the Pentagon military-intelligence apparatus. This nexus of unelected power comprises the so-called ‘Deep State’ and includes a largely obedient corporate-controlled news media.
Clinton was favored because of her express advocacy of aggressive foreign policy and militarism toward America’s perceived geopolitical rivals, primarily Russia and China. If Clinton was being inaugurated next week, instead of Trump, it is a fair bet that she would be following through on her campaign vows to confront Russia in Syria and Ukraine militarily.
Since Trump’s election on November 8, the US ‘Deep State’ has intensified its political-media campaign to discredit him – a campaign that was well underway months before polling day.
Due to his oft-stated aim to pursue friendly relations with Russia, Trump has been pilloried for not just being a ‘Putin stooge’ but a potentially treasonous president. Former CIA director Michael Morell this week told CNN that Trump’s disparagement of the US intelligence community was undermining national security and emboldening Russia and other “enemies” of America.
The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper may deny that the leaks to the media came from his agents. But there seems little doubt that if the secret services had not included the “dodgy Russian dossier” in its briefings to outgoing President Obama and President-elect Trump, then the US media would not have published the salacious claims concerning Trump in a Moscow hotel and alleged communications with the Kremlin.
In other words, this was indeed a dirty trick set in motion by US intelligence.
US media outlets may also piously pretend that they did not publish the sordid details about prostitutes and orgies. But they certainly alluded to the reports in their coverage, which inevitably lent credence to what is a blatantly false story.
Tellingly, the New York Times followed up, instead of ditching a rubbish rumor, by saying portentously: “The consequences have been incalculable… and cast a shadow over the new administration.”
What? The story was fake, but evidently, the NY Times and others continue airing it to “cast a shadow” of doubt over Trump.
Trump is still giving an outward appearance of the fearless populist taking on the establishment. His scathing of “fake news” outlets at the news conference this week and his rebuke to US intelligence for using “Nazi” smear tactics certainly gives the impression that Trump is the outsider who will “drain the swamp” in Washington.
But underneath all the bluster from Trump, the signs are that he is slowly, but surely beginning to get with the program.
‘Profound dismay’: DNI Clapper meets with Trump over ‘unverified’ dossier leak t.co/t9H5lAuOrD
— RT America (@RT_America) January 12, 2017
The Washington establishment, and its ‘Deep State’ organs may have lost the presidential election in the form of the person who won the ballot. Make no mistake, though; the US ruling elite is working assiduously through media orchestration and dirty tricks to ensure that its desired election result prevails. That is, a hostile policy toward Russia, China and the rest of the world to serve US corporate interests.
Trump’s electioneering based on restoring more balanced foreign relations, in particular toward Russia, probably won him many votes from American citizens who are sick and tired of decades-old warmongering. Unfortunately, a worthy aspiration for more peaceful US foreign policy is being overturned by the ‘Deep State’ and its multifarious operatives in Congress and the media.
The ganging up on Trump and Tillerson is a pathetic display of how American democracy is under attack as never before – not from alleged foreign enemies, but from the self-declared “patriots” of the Deep State-plutocracy.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
This is where the latest media frenzy about Trump’s alleged Russian ties gain significance.